First I read it on facebook, then I read it on twitter, and then a whole blog post describing how I got beaten in the Schola at my own game (ground fighting). I get a bit bewildered at this, what’s the big deal?
But I realise that I have been there to, when you are no longer a beginner in martial arts and you can roll with the best and suddenly you score a few wins against a trainer, a black belt, and it is a big deal. I remember my first win against Gabriel ..
Truth to be told, it should be a big deal! For me to. Understand me correctly here, I get beaten by my students all the time, in fact I have never had a serious student that has not beaten me! This either means that I am that lousy at fighting or that I am a really good instructor, and I will let my students be the judge of which is true. I fight my students all the time, I put no prestige in winning or loosing, as long as I win or loose well. It is important to always fight to your ability, to never perform badly. I do fight at the level of my students (this does not mean letting them win), I pace myself according to their investment in the fight. I match strength and speed when I can (I have many students who are stronger than me) And I may allow a student to gain an advantage (like a mount or a guard) to allow them to practice their skills. But I never let them win, if they win it is because they executed the right technique at the right time and I could not have stopped it at the time.
Why do I say all this? To make Mackans win less important? No! But to try to get a cross our philosophy: winning or loosing matters little, it is how well you fight.
I am not ashamed when I am beaten by my students. It is the greatest honour I know. It is a testament to all the time and effort I have put in training and coaching them. If I where afraid they would beat me one day I would have to keep a secret bag of tricks (black belt techniques) that I don’t teach in fear that they might win over me. No, I teach every trick I know regardless of the level of the student, I give away all my secrets, hoping that one day they will get all the little bits together and beat me at my own game.
So Mackan, to your victory VIVAT! May there be many more!